Saturday, August 6, 2011

seeking Jesus as the married one

1 Corinthians 7:34 has been running through my heart a lot...
"... The woman who is unmarried and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband."

Truthfully, this Scripture has baffled me... often! So, I did what any clueless person would do and I read the commentary by Matthew Henry (one of my favs!) on it as well as one by William Barclay.  They spoke truth, wisdom and knowledge (although I favor Matthew Henry's commentary) and Matthew Henry wrote an intriguing thought that got me thinking.

"This is the general rule, which every one's discretion must apply to his own particular case; and by it should he endeavour to determine, whether it be for marriage or against. That condition of life should be chosen by the Christian in which it is most likely he will have the best helps, and the fewest hindrances, in the service of God and the affairs of his own salvation." -- Matthew Henry on 1 Corinthians 7:34

I have encountered through this journey alongside my brothers and sisters in the faith that often times, newly married couples (including me and the Husband when we first wed) are... surprised by the sudden shift in one's personal spiritual climate once the vows have been said and the unity blessed.  The couple is now "concerned with things of the world" and things get a little... complicated.

It is no secret that marriage greatly affects our walk with the Lord.  Once married, the rules change and the atmosphere shifts.  It is not that we no longer carry an undistracted, undying love for our Savior, but now duty governs over whim and it is godly to be concerned with how we may please our spouse.  This is found good and right and holy.  

But what about when this truth doesn't exactly settle in?  As newlyweds, the Husband and I struggled in how exactly we were to do this married Christian thing.  It wasn't that we lacked in upward love, we lacked in wisdom and understanding. We were both used to spending countless hours alone with Christ, dropping everything at a moment's notice to simply lock ourselves up in our room to pray.  And then, that was good and that was right.  It was Holy and pleasing unto the Lord.

And then we got married; and things changed.  I was expected to have dinner on the table and laundry folded in addition to working full-time hours.  I expected him to spend quality time with me after working overtime to provide even more for our family and take out the trash before the day's end.  He was already a father, I was becoming a mother.  And time got away from us.  Neither one knew how to do this Christian Married Couple thing.

Please hear my heart on this (I'm finding myself having to say that a lot... maybe I should stay away from potentially controversial posts...).  I am not saying that marriage causes us to draw away from the Lord nor to spend less time with Him.  I am by no means saying such a thing.  I am saying however that it looks different; same as when you become a parent and then when you become the parent of multiples.  It's a learning curve we all go through and the beauty that shines forth from that is a wonderful testimony of Christ's glory and love.

The Husband and I are still getting the hang of it.  We still trip up, and more often than not we get caught up in the things of the world (which by the way in the original Greek/Aramaic context does not mean the things of the world that we are not to love, but rather the things of the world that are necessary to walk in Holy order).  It is the grace of God that abides within us and the grace of God that causes us to grow and become fruitful in this area. 

On our wedding day, we devoted some time to worship Christ for His perfect gifts
But, we were missing one thing... Unity.  In the middle of our frustrations, we were living together, breathing together and talking together but we weren't being together.  He was lost in his duties as a husband and I was lost in my duties of my wife.  We forgot to seek the Lord together so that He can show us His purposes for our family and our union.  In this evil time where marriage is being scorned and mocked, I urge you to seek the Lord out not only as a family, but as a couple.

It is imperative to the health of your marriage to seek Him together, alone without the rush rush of babies and feedings and clean-ups and to-do's. 

And it is imperative to the health of your Spirit as well.  Truthfully that is the most eternal and most real truth of them all...

What challenges have you encountered as a married woman in continuing to purposefully seek the Lord? 

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